Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Click for the TV interview. It's in German. In this TV interview about the German literary scene, old amigo Carl Weissner, author of Death in Paris and Manhattan Muffdiver -- and translator of too many books to list -- sounds as if he's sitting in a bar gossiping about gangsters. "Right," he messages in an e-mail. "I AM gossiping about gangsters. And of course I call Herr Grass et al. 'SCUM!' " … [Read more...]

‘Courage Is Contagious’

Julian Assange speaks to David Frost. A friend writes: "I see an escalating need for him to break himself down to subatomic particles and travel by solar wind..." (For continuing updates go to Nemesis a k a Mr. Wikileaks and scroll down.) … [Read more...]

Greenwald to Krugman to Orwell to Osborne

Here's Joe "Good Guy" Biden contradicting himself about Wikileaks. Sickening isn't it. Thank you, Glenn Greenwald. (Update: Dec. 19 -- Really sickening, to say nothing of U.S. officials calling European standards for human rights an "irritant.") Which brings me to Paul Krugman's blogpost "Decade of the Living Dead." Krugman's blog, The Conscience of a Liberal, even more than his NYT column, is necessary reading. It's necessary for those who understand his number-crunching charts and for the rest of us. The "living dead" blogpost is typical of … [Read more...]

Riots in the Streets vs. Internet Attacks

Violence in the streets scares the shit out of the authorities. More than guerrilla geeks, student rioters in the streets send the authorities into a panic, making them so repressive that the violence boomerangs. The authorities lose control of the situation and whatever moral highground they may claim. Guerrilla geeks also frighten the authorities, but Internet attacks are an abstraction even when damaging. Watch this 15-year-old British schoolboy lay out the stakes with courage and eloquence. Is he a younger version of Mario Savio for 2010? … [Read more...]

Re Wikileaks, Remember What Mario Savio Said

Is Operation Payback "the first great cyber war" or just a "major shitstorm?" Are the mounting cyberattacks in support of Wikileaks something like the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s? Remember Mario Savio? Remember his prescient speech on the UC Berkeley campus in 1964? There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the levers, upon the wheels, upon all the apparatus, and … [Read more...]

Editorial Substance vs. Online Style

Here's one way the print version of a daily newspaper beats the online version. Paul Krugman's NYT column this morning, Freezing Out Hope, begins: After the Democratic "shellacking" in the midterm elections, everyone wondered how President Obama would respond. Would he show what he was made of? Would he stand firm for the values he believes in, even in the face of political adversity? Halfway down the column a pullquote, in large type, underscores its theme. The online version of the column doesn't have the pullquote. It could have. There's no … [Read more...]